What We Do:

We Create Legacy

Building legacies with Ntareiyan Lemargeroi (foreground) and other Samburu women in Ngilai, Kenya | Roshni Lodhia/Legado

“Legado” means legacy in
Portuguese and Spanish.

And legacy is fundamental for holistic, community-led change.


Think about your life. Your legacy is not something you create at the end of your life. Your legacy is something you create every day with your words, with your actions, and within your community. You lead both the creation of this legacy and how you bring it to life.

Yet Indigenous communities around the world are rarely asked to share the legacies they want to live out for their children, their people, and their landscape.

By working with Legado, people define and create legacies for both themselves and for their landscape that build on their communities' existing strengths. When every person in the community—particularly those with traditionally underrepresented voices, such as women and youth—designs and implements solutions of their choosing, they create sustainable outcomes called Thriving Futures.

Ngilai community members building their version of their Thriving Future | Roshni Lodhia/Legado

How we do it:

360° Community-Led Change

When you look at your well-being, you don’t think of just your education, your health, or your livelihood. You think of everything all at once. You take a 360° view of everything that contributes to your Thriving Future.

A 360° View of Life

The community members we work with think about every dimension of their lives when they create their Legacy Plan. They define priorities related to their health, their education, the environment, local governance, livelihoods, and so much more—everyone and everything comes together to create a Thriving Future.

What’s more, when building a Thriving Future, people don’t just consider every dimension in isolation. Community members articulate how each dimension intersects with other dimensions when creating their plan. For example, education can mean classroom-based education. It can also mean the passing of traditional knowledge from grandparents to grandchildren.

360° Inclusion

When change is truly community-led, it’s not just the powerful or connected who get a chance to speak up. Every member of the community, particularly women, youth, and the elderly, gets to play a role in creating their Thriving Future.

We Center Women

At Legado, we know that when we invest in women and help them evolve into leaders, they can help entire communities overcome poverty, and lead the way to improve children’s nutrition, health, and school attendance.*

Legado’s model focuses specifically on empowering women in three important ways:

  • Creating women-only spaces where they can share their opinions freely.
  • Organizing dedicated sessions to help women evolve into leaders within their communities.
  • Continually monitoring programs to ensure that women are playing leadership roles in their communities.
A volunteer from the Mucunha community helps build a traditional stove to burn the blocks that will be used to construct a new health center | Legado

Today, our programs are women-led with 100% female senior leadership and 76% female staff.

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Khadija Lelesara, a Ngilai community member, is working toward her personal legacy goal of planting trees | Roshni Lodhia/Legado

"I was asked to be on a school committee but declined because I did not have the courage or confidence to serve as a leader. But after the Thriving Futures training, I reconsidered and am now a committee member making decisions for the school."
Khadija Lelesara, Ngilai, Kenya

Hear from women leaders around the world

*Learn more about how women’s leadership promotes transformative change from The Gates Foundation, BOMA Project (link 1 - PDF) (link 2 - PDF) and CGIAR’s Gender Impact Platform 

The Outcome:

Thriving Futures

We believe that collective futures are largely determined by daily decisions at the individual level. That’s why sustainable change can only happen with the knowledge, wisdom, and expertise that already exists in Indigenous communities.

Our new and dynamic approach to development creates Thriving Futures in thriving places—where Indigenous Peoples fulfill the dreams they have for themselves, their communities, and their landscapes.

Ngilai Community members building their version of their Thriving Future | Roshni Lodhia/Legado

Committed to Local Leadership

Legado might operate around the world, but each of our programs are co-created with local community partner organizations.

Our teams are invested in creating Thriving Futures for their communities because they grew up in these very communities. Over 85% of our team is based in regions where we work, and over 70% of our team is from the communities and groups we serve.

And 100% of their efforts are invested in protecting the landscapes they come from and creating Thriving Futures around the world.

Click here to get a deeper dive on the power of legacy and the creation of Thriving Futures.

A Thriving Future Timeline

3-6 Months

Activation of Community Voices

"I have shared my vision for tomorrow."

6-12 Months

Legacy Plan Development

"We are working together to put our plans into action."

1-5 Years

Legacy Plan Implementation and Resource Mobilization

"We are making our plans a reality by taking collective action and unlocking critical support from the government and funders on our terms."

When communities tap into local knowledge to create a Legacy Plan, when women are given a leadership seat at the table, and when people act collectively to realize their vision, they create sustainable outcomes in thriving landscapes. They create their Thriving Futures.

Watch Legacy

Legado's 4-minute film, showcasing the true power of legacies and what it takes to build Thriving Futures around the world. Shot in Mozambique and Kenya in 2022 by Roshni Lodhia, Legacy features Mayanae Lemojong and Inácio Josefe Napalacué, two of our key community ambassadors.
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